We stand with you today and always. #strongerthan
We stand with you today and always. #strongerthan
Stanley Kunitz published this poem when he was 73 years old:
I have walked through many lives, some of them my own, and I am not who I was, though some principle of being abides, from which I struggle not to stray. When I look behind, as I am compelled to look before I can gather strength to proceed on my journey, I see the milestones dwindling toward the horizon and the slow fires trailing from the abandoned camp-sites, over which scavenger angels wheel on heavy wings. Oh, I have made myself a tribe out of my true affections, and my tribe is scattered! How shall the heart be reconciled to its feast of losses? In a rising wind the manic dust of my friends, those who fell along the way, bitterly stings my face. Yet I turn, I turn, exulting somewhat, with my will intact to go wherever I need to go, and every stone on the road precious to me. In my darkest night, when the moon was covered and I roamed through wreckage, a nimbus-clouded voice directed me: “Live in the layers, not on the litter.” Though I lack the art to decipher it, no doubt the next chapter in my book of transformations is already written. I am not done with my changes. Stanley Kunitz, 1905 - 2006
Mark Lowyns runs the “experiential” practice at Scratch, so I expect him to know about stuff and to make amazing things happen. He does it all the time at work — it’s his job.
I’d heard he’d been cookin’ up some cool shit outside of work too. So one day last week I decided to spend some time in Mark’s life outside the office, starting here:
100 Forsyth Street looks like a sketchy “Travel Agency” — “by appointment” only. Exactly the kind of place you know has some unique shit going on inside.
I had an appointment, so they let me in.
The joint is the work of Mark’s club soccer team, called Nowhere FC — a group of friends who have more fun than most people I know. They partnered with Avery Dennison to create a pop-up sports/fashion experience timed for this year’s World Cup. “For those of us that can’t make it down to Brazil,” Mark told me, “we’re offering the opportunity to #Flynowhere.”
Ok so I asked Mark to explain what’s going on in here:
“It’s a Football Concierge, where people can come and make a customized kit featuring the design stylings of Diego Moscoso. Friends & Family can make a customized piece using our own proprietary letters, numbers, emojis, fake sponsors as well as the Motherland Series of badges of which there are one representing each country competing in this years World Cup.”
Here’s some of the custom badges and things they’ve designed:
Mark’s soccer team is pretty dope, if you ask me. Their home field is right across from the store, on Forsyth and Grand. Here’s their custom coat of arms, which is huge, hand-knit and hanging on the wall in this shop:
Here’s how Mark explains the team:
“Our club is called Nowhere FC and on the field we take different forms. Sometimes we’re known as Nowhere Fast Club or Nowhere Forrest Club but always Nowhere FC. We play in 3 different downtown NYC leagues and have our own downtown community pick up games on Sunday nights. We’re not only a competitive team though, we’re a community of creatives who obsess about football culture on the field, in the pubs and in the design studio. So we eat/drink together, play together and create/make gear and pull art stunts. Sure we play on the streets of NYC but our kits are manufactured by the same company the makes Brazil’s or Barcelona’s. We’re creating our own fashion called Future Casual that brings the world of high fashion & design together with sportswear and the streets.”
Diego was nice enough to make me a shirt, right there on the spot:
Here’s what my custom jersey looks like:
And here’s a selfie with (from left to right) Diego, legendary photographer Jonathan Mannion, Mark and me:
Later in the day, I headed back downtown to see Mark’s soccer team compete in the Adidas Fanatic Tournament. Here’s a shot from behind the fence as I cheered on Mark and his teammates, all of whom have the same number, 10, on their jerseys. Because 10 is reserved for the best player on the team, and they’re all really good:
An amazing day, seeing Mark in his natural habitat – the soccer field. Stylin’.
Like most of the best things in life, by the time most of us heard about this… it was all done. The Fader wrote about #flynowhere, which I’m sure helped some people find it before it disappeared. But now that the World Cup’s over, so is the pop up shop.
There’s some consolation knowing the crew behind Nowehere FC is far from done creating. It’s a creative bunch of bandits, and they’re already setting up their next thing. Follow them on Instagram @nowhere_fc while you wait for an appointment.
And then there’s the magic of our own neighborhood. Where one day you can spend the day seeing Ai Weiwei at The Brooklyn Museum through the eyes of a five year old…
And playing in the trees of Swoon…
Only to wake up the next morning to a note, on a branch, on a tree, on our block…
That kinda reminds us…
It’s all a lot simpler than we think…